Reader Nicholas Taitz has sent a copy of a letter he has submitted to the Chicago Tribune following their recent controversial comments on piping and pipe bands:
‘I am a keen piper, and I was very much offended by your article as above. The article is pejorative in the extreme about the bagpipes, which those of us who know them call the ‘pipes’. Your writer clearly has limited acquaintance with piping, as although she says her parents were in bands, she refers to them as ‘bagpipers’ and ‘bagpipe bands’ – something no one who actually plays would do – they are ‘pipe bands’ or ‘pipers’.
‘The many insulting statements about the pipes are irritating. They are also inaccurate – pipes don’t sound like a dying sheep, nor are they louder than a jumbo jet. Also, not all pipers are drunk, stereotypical Scotsmen, and her use of this stereotype is insulting to all Scotsmen and pipers. The pipes are not only Scottish, and the assertion that they are no part of Irish tradition is simply nonsense.
‘The final view that pipes belong on the battleground or at a funeral is ridiculous – piping is a diverse art, with many thousands of pipers all around the world, from Australia, to Canada and South Africa, to Pakistan and Oman. It is a fine musical tradition, with a classical form that is older than Western classical music. How could you publish such a poor quality, insulting and badly researched article? It makes your paper look very bad.
Yours sincerely, Nicholas Taitz’
More information on the 1844 competition including the winners has been posted here with thanks once more to Keith Sanger.
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